The philosophy of Légèreté

The founding principle of the School of Légèreté is the absolute respect of the horse. In this concept, Légèreté (French: lightness) is not a declaration of intent of a poetic or esoteric nature, but a philosophy bringing together clear, effective and measurable equestrian concepts.

The philosophy of Légèreté excludes any use of force or coercive artificial aids (including side reins, draw reins, tightly closed nosebands etc.), but includes all types of horse and takes an interest in all equestrian disciplines. It provides an understandable and reliable training plan with clear principles, efficient methods and procedures that fully respect the nature of the horse. It thus allows any seriously motivated rider access to High School equitation, even with a perfectly ordinary horse.

The School of Légèreté takes its inspiration from the masters who have contributed to this equestrian philosophy: Xenophon, Fiaschi, La Broue, Pluvinel, La Guérinière, Dupaty de Clam, Hünersdorf, Freiherr von Sind, Baucher, Raabe, L’Hotte, Faverot de Kerbrech, Beudant, Oliveira etc. It is based on in-depth knowledge of the horse and is ready to re-analyse and improve itself with all types of progress in this respect (anatomy, physiology, locomotion, balance, psychology, ethology).

Lastly it has the aim of getting the best from any horse and fulfilling the rider through the constant search for efficiency via the minimum use of means.

About Philippe Karl

Philippe Karl was born in 1947. In 1968, he drops his medical studies to dedicate himself to working with horses. From 1968 to 1971, he studies breeding, first at the Zootechnical Studies Centre (Centre d´Enseignement Zootechnique) in Rambouillet, then at the French national stud Haras National du Pin. He obtains his national riding instructor’s certificate in 1971.

From 1972 to 1979, he heads the riding department at the Centre d´Enseignement Zootechnique in Rambouillet, where he is in charge of various branches of professional training. From 1980 to 1985, he runs his own stables. During all these years, he is regularly competing in eventing and show jumping.

In 1985, General Pierre Durand appoints him as a member of the French national riding school Ecole Nationale d´Equitation in Saumur, and he becomes an Ecuyer at the prestigious Cadre Noir. Being especially dedicated to the shows of the Cadre Noir, he creates two historical shows, presentations at the long reins – both in jumping and High School – and participates in the shows of the Ecuyers. For thirteen years, he takes part in all the gala shows of the Cadre Noir in France and all over Europe.

In 1998, he leaves the Ecole Nationale d´Equitation to devote himself to the clinics he is giving in France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the United States. Since 2004, he has been especially dedicated to the training of riding instructors within his School of Légèreté.